Migrate SQL Server to Amazon RDS or EC2

Planning to migrate SQL Server to Amazon RDS or EC2 instances? We know how to overcome all issues that may occur as part of the lift-and-shift process to Amazon Web Services.

Typical challenges that we see

Database migration is a daunting task with a lot of hidden issues and possible problems. With our extensive experience, we can overcome most of the database migration challenges.



Determining which database and infrastructure technology is a best fit in AWS

There are many approaches to database technology in AWS from infrastructure EC2 to managed RDS.

The key lies in understanding these points:

  • What is your current database and infrastructure technology and what is the appropriate match in AWS
  • Which resources do you have to support your database technology in AWS and do those resources more closely favor a path to RDS or EC2?
  • What is your HA/DR approach and will it be more easily mapped to RDS or EC2?
  • What is your data egress and ingress and how will that affect your charges

ABCloudz can help you evaluate your current workload and direct you to the best technology approach within the Amazon cloud.

Choosing which workloads to move to AWS

We take a data-centric approach to determine which workloads are most appropriate for the cloud. We start with data collection that gives us a profile of each workload environment such as CPU, RAM, etc. We also work with our customers to understand the business needs/restrictions of each workload to determine a list of potential candidates that can be moved to the cloud.

Building an AWS stack with multiple layers can be time consuming and error prone

ABCloudz’s architects can help you in automating the entire stack creation process leveraging AWS’s cloudFormation templates, Terraform, Puppet, Chef, and other configuration management tools.

The use of these tools along with our own automation tools perform deployment tasks such as:

  • Setup your VPC
  • Setup your subnets
  • Then setup your ELB
  • Finally, setup your EC2 instances
  • Upload your databases
  • Configure Auto-scaling groups
  • Creation of S3 buckets
  • Uploading data
  • Restoring databases
  • Configure your health checks

Getting Started

ABCloudz has unique expertise that covers migration of Microsoft SQL Server databases to the Amazon cloud. We can leverage automation tools like AWS Database Migration Service along with the Schema Conversion Tool to help you migrate Microsoft SQL Server databases and applications to Amazon RDS or Amazon Aurora MySQL or Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL in a short period of time. With unprecedented experience in Microsoft SQL Server, we are ready to help you develop cost-effective strategies for migrating and modernizing your application assets to AWS technologies.

At ABCloudz, we have a set of entry-level offers to help you understand your modernization landscape. We also can demonstrate the value of moving your Microsoft SQL Server workloads to Amazon RDS or EC2 instances.

We can start with monitoring your on-premises SQL Server databases over a month. We determine the CPU utilization, IOPS requirements, memory needs, and network latency. Then we take a look at the server configurations and correlate the monitored data. After that, we can recommend the optimal server machine types for deployment on EC2 and Amazon RDS.

Sometimes you just need a little help. With the AWS Schema Conversion Tool (SCT), you can analyze your source SQL Server schema and code to determine compatibility with Amazon RDS for SQL Server. Our team has unique experience using SCT. So we’ve created the AWS Schema Conversion Tool Jumpstart offer to provide a pool of hours to help you with your project.

Check out the offers below for more information on how we can help you with your migrating SQL Server to Amazon RDS or EC2 efforts.

Customer story

One of the world’s largest multimedia content providers was looking for a way to increase the level of user satisfaction by improving the performance of their enormous database system. They wanted to leverage operational best practices to increase resiliency/uptime, performance, and scalability at the lowest possible cost. Their overall goal is to move all of their applications out of their datacenter and over to Amazon Web Services through a lift-and-shift process.

The first consideration we needed to help our customer through was determining which workloads should move to SQL Server running on EC2 instances versus SQL Server on RDS. AWS does provide a white paper Deploying Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon Web Services that features SQL Server 2014 written in 2016. Since then, Microsoft has shipped two new versions of SQL Server and AWS has made 12 major improvements to RDS for SQL Server including support for SQL Server 2017.

Considerations for RDS

Based on the criteria we gathered for high availability, disaster recovery, performance, scale, and SQL Server features used within the application, our default is to always consider RDS as the deployment target because of the great platform as a service features it provides. We then take a look at the following considerations:

  • Are there any features that applications use that are not supported by Amazon RDS for SQL Server? We use the reporting capabilities for the AWS Schema Conversion Tool (SCT) to identify incompatible features. AWS does a great job of updating to align with the ever-shrinking list of unsupported SQL Server features with RDS.
  • Can we reduce the administrative burden with features like automatic backups, automatic patching, seamless replication, and super-easy point-in-time restore?

Considerations for SQL Server on EC2

  • Use of unsupported features. SCT provides a report of the unsupported features and offers suggestions on how to work around the issues. If the workaround has little impact on the application code, then we will consider it based on the cost to deliver the change. On the other hand, if the workaround is significant, going with EC2 may make sense.
  • Hardware resources are not sufficient to support performance and high availability. RDS instances are quickly aligning with the largest of instance types. As of July 2018, SQL Server 2016 & 2017 RDS on Enterprise Edition supports the db.r4.xlarge–16xlarge instance type with 64 vCPUs, with 195 ECUs, and 488 GiB. However, if a larger machine is required or there is a higher level of availability that requires a feature like Always On Cluster Failover Instances and/or Availability Groups, then EC2 is the answer.

Tools we use to migrate SQL Server to Amazon RDS or EC2

Over the years, we’ve created our own set of products and tools to help upgrade SQL Server databases and deploy them to modern infrastructures. With these tools, our team can minimize the costs to ensure data integrity and minimize testing costs associated with migrating SQL Server to RDS or EC2 instances.

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